Randy Yohe Published

Judge Robert Stone’s Passing Removes ‘Pillar Of The Judicial Community’ 

White haired man with glasses and goatee in Judge's robes.
Judge Robert Stone
Courtesy of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

Senior Status Judge Robert B. Stone passed away on Monday. He served as a circuit judge in Monongalia County for 24 years and was a senior status judge for almost 15 years.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice John Hutchison said the long-time chief circuit judge was a quiet leader and a consensus builder. 

“If there was a dispute or a disagreement, he was the guy that sat down and talked to both sides and tried to get consensus,” Hutchinson said. “So the West Virginia Circuit Judicial Association could move forward on whatever goals were on the table or on being dealt with. He was an unbelievable teacher.” 

Supreme Court Justice William Wooton said Stone’s positive influence went statewide. 

“Judge Bob Stone was widely known in West Virginia’s judicial community and highly respected for his scholarship, fairness and unfailing courtesy and politeness,” Wooten said. “His passing is a great loss to our entire state, and especially to Monongalia County. His friends and family have my deepest sympathy.”

Hutchison called Stone a forward thinker who used his rich knowledge of the law to improve the overall system of judging.  

“He always had good comments to make and good suggestions on how to improve rules of criminal procedure, rules of civil procedure, the trial court rules, all those rules having to deal with judging at the circuit level. He had great suggestions. He was a student of the law behind those rules,’ Hutchison said. 

Judge Stone was born in Morgantown in 1943. He graduated from Morgantown High School in 1961, received a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in 1965 and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in 1968. 

After graduating from law school, he was a law clerk in the late 1960s for U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Maxwell. He then practiced law in the family firm Stone & Stone and served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Monongalia County in the early 1980s.

Stone was appointed to the bench by then-governor Arch Moore in 1985, and was elected in 1986, 1992 and 2000. He served as chief judge for several years before deciding not to run for re-election in 2008. He retired in December 2008. 

Stone held all positions in the West Virginia Judicial Association, including president from October 1996 to October 1997. He was a teaching judge with the judicial association and the West Virginia State Bar and was an adjunct lecturer at West Virginia University College of Law.

Hutchison said Stone was a driving force, especially in times of judicial upheaval, ensuring that at the circuit court level, things were going where they needed to go.

“He was one of the guys, whenever all the uproar was taking place, quietly behind the scenes trying to make sure that the circuit judges did what they needed to do,” Hutchison said. “He was the kind of guy that tried to get rid of the waves that were floating around. He tried to smooth things out. That was Bob. He will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.”

Stone and his wife Susanne had six children. He was 79 years old.